Dempster sprints to victory in Tesco Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic

Zak Dempster triumphed on Sunday in the English cousin of the “Eroica” in Italy, the Tesco Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic (1.2), when he outsprinted Belgium’s Erwin De Kerf (Hand in Hand Espoirs) and Poland’s Marcin Bialoblocki (Motorpoint) at the head of an 18-rider group.

Contrary to previous years, the Cicle Classic wasn’t decided in the first kilometres by a huge breakaway that the peloton would never see again. Instead, the bunch was whittled down in an elimination race through the twisty and undulating roads of the East Midlands countryside, which give the Cicle Classic a Tour of Flanders’ look.

“To be honest it was a quite negative race today,” Dempster told Cyclingnews at the finish. “I was pretty aggressive, perhaps too much, but it never helped to make the difference.” Perhaps the dry weather was the main factor in the wait-and-see nature of the race.

Three riders tried serious lone escapes, however: Briton Tom Southam (Rapha Condor), Spaniard Javier Pomares (KTM-Murcia) and Frenchman Léo Fortin (ESEG Douai).

The latter, a pro stagiaire with Crédit Agricole in 2006 who stopped racing in 2010 and came back last winter, was caught with three kilometres to go, after an escape of around thirty kilometres. His gap reached 1:50 but he said that he had no illusions in the last 12 kilometres.

Following a very fast teammate of Fortin’s into the last corner before the line, Dempster almost crashed but he was in second position, a perfect position for the sprint. In the previous kilometres, his team had supported him through Dan Craven and Dean Downing's strong lead-out. The other Rapha rider in the front group, Graham Briggs, was another wildcard for the sprint.

The 23-year-old Dempster, a former track specialist as part of the Australian Institute of Sport’s programme, confirmed his strong abilities in the “Flemish” classics with this victory. On a similar course, he won the Dengie Marshes Tour last week, a Premier calendar race in Essex. In 2009 he rode Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne with Bulgarian continental team CC Bourgas and finished 15th of the Three Days of West Flanders.

“To win the Tesco Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic was something special,” Dempster said. “I really enjoyed the route. It’s like the Tro Bro Leon [another semi-classic in Brittany – Ed.] and I really like it!” He expects to join a WorldTour team as soon as possible. Dempster will soon have further opportunities to shine at the highest level, notably in France with the Tour of Lorraine, the Ronde de l’Oise and the Boucles de la Mayenne.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Rapha Condor - Sharp4:09:56
2Erwin De Kerf (Bel)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) MotorpointRow 2 - Cell 2
4Jonathan Mcevoy (GBr) MotorpointRow 3 - Cell 2
5Jose Ramirez (Spa)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Tomas Okrouhlicky (Cze) AC Sparta PrahaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Llewwellyn Kinch (GBr)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Kasper Linde Jorgensen (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRORow 7 - Cell 2
9Lasse Bochmann (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRORow 8 - Cell 2
10David Clarke (GBr) Endura RacingRow 9 - Cell 2
11Daniel Fleeman (GBr)Row 10 - Cell 2
12David Skrzypczak (Fra)Row 11 - Cell 2
13David Mcgowan (GBr)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Niki Ostergaard (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRORow 13 - Cell 2
15Niklas Gustavsson (Swe)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Graham Briggs (GBr) Rapha Condor - SharpRow 15 - Cell 2
17Javier Benitez Pomares (Spa) KTM - MurciaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Ian Bibby (GBr) MotorpointRow 17 - Cell 2
19Pierre Drancourt (Fra)0:00:13
20Liam Holohan (GBr)0:00:17
21Bastien Delrot (Fra)0:00:19
22Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha Condor - Sharp0:00:30
23Léo Fortin (Fra)0:00:36
24Steven Lampier (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized0:00:48
25Scott Thwaites (GBr) Endura Racing0:00:56
26Horton Tobyn (GBr) Motorpoint0:01:00
27David Mclean (GBr)0:01:05
28James Sampson (GBr) Motorpoint0:01:25
29James Stewart (GBr)0:01:41
30Robert Partridge (GBr) Endura Racing0:01:55
31Dean Downing (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp0:01:56
32Jack Adams (GBr)0:02:11
33Szlachta Wojciech (Pol)0:02:12
34Wouter Sybrandy (Ned) Sigma Sport - SpecializedRow 33 - Cell 2
35Andrew Hawdon (GBr)0:02:22
36Salvador Guardiola Tora (Spa) KTM - Murcia0:02:41
37Rafael Rodriguez (Spa)0:03:22
38Jason Flooks (GBr)0:06:19
39Andy Coupe (GBr)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Ashley Cox (GBr)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Matthew Higgins (GBr)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Alastair Kay (GBr)Row 41 - Cell 2
43James Mccallum (GBr) Rapha Condor - SharpRow 42 - Cell 2
44Michael Berling (Den) Glud & Marstrand - LRORow 43 - Cell 2
45Richard Handley (GBr)0:06:34
46Andrew Griffiths (GBr)0:06:36
47Martyn Irvine (Irl) Giant Kenda Cycling Team0:06:47
48Tom Barras (GBr)Row 47 - Cell 2
49James Mclaughlin (GBr)Row 48 - Cell 2
50Ward Lapiere (Bel)Row 49 - Cell 2
51Jody Crawforth (GBr)Row 50 - Cell 2
52Gunnar Gronlund (Swe)0:06:53
53Perry Bowater (GBr)0:06:58
54Chris Opie (GBr)0:07:36
55Evan Oliphant (GBr) Endura RacingRow 54 - Cell 2
56Geoffrey Deresmes (Fra)0:11:58
57John Tanner (GBr)Row 56 - Cell 2
58Stephen Adams (GBr) Sigma Sport - SpecializedRow 57 - Cell 2
59Dan Smith (GBr)Row 58 - Cell 2
60Ross Creber (GBr)Row 59 - Cell 2
61James Cambridge (GBr)Row 60 - Cell 2
62Rob Carter (GBr)Row 61 - Cell 2
63Arne De Schuyter (Bel)Row 62 - Cell 2
64Kristian Downs (GBr)Row 63 - Cell 2
65James Scott (GBr)Row 64 - Cell 2
66Philip Mooney (USA)Row 65 - Cell 2
67Michael Cuming (GBr)0:12:05
68Chris Mark (GBr)0:12:16
69Simon Wilson (GBr)0:14:55
70Ryan Sherlock (Irl) Giant Kenda Cycling TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Richard Mardle (GBr)Row 70 - Cell 2
72Mark Perry (GBr)Row 71 - Cell 2
73Tomas Hruby (Cze) AC Sparta PrahaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Oscar Garcia-Casarrubios Pintor (Spa) KTM - MurciaRow 73 - Cell 2
75Ray Alexander (NZl)Row 74 - Cell 2
76Matthew Hamilton (GBr)Row 75 - Cell 2
77David Palmer (GBr)Row 76 - Cell 2
78Duncan Moralee (GBr)Row 77 - Cell 2
79Robert Hayles (GBr) Endura RacingRow 78 - Cell 2
80Kevin Dawson (GBr)Row 79 - Cell 2
81Richard Meadows (Irl)Row 80 - Cell 2
82Joe Norledge (GBr)Row 81 - Cell 2
83Arne Govaert (Bel)Row 82 - Cell 2
84Matt Myers (USA)Row 83 - Cell 2
85Ben Simmons (GBr)Row 84 - Cell 2
86Dale Appleby (GBr)Row 85 - Cell 2
87Robert Orr (GBr)Row 86 - Cell 2
88Matthew Ullmer (GBr)Row 87 - Cell 2
89Antoine Fouldrin (Fra)Row 88 - Cell 2
90Damien Shaw (Irl)Row 89 - Cell 2

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